River Roast Imports – Logo/Backstory:

My mission for this project was to draw in more individuals to the company that supplies coffee beans to Sugar Shack, Blue Sky Roasting.

The challenge given was to create a brand name, backstory, icon/image/logo and help define the coffee roastery to make it complement Sugar Shack.

My team and I decided that the new brand name would be: River Roast Imports

Logo Design:


We have chosen to embody the spirit of the old age of human exploration with the iconography of the steam paddle boat and river.  The steam paddle boat harks back to that age of early industrialization and go-getter attitude to venture into the unknown of the world with no guarantee of survival.  The river is core to humans on a level that even anthropologists may find religious – rivers allowed us to discover and travel inland, to create agriculture and put pressure upon early societies to reason natural sciences and mathematics. When combined together you have the elements of truly brazen and noble exploration that a modern company that handles imported goods would be proud to embody.  Ideals of going beyond ethical means and embodying truly humanistic ideals that leave the world better than how we found it.

Other Designs:


Our Mantra:

Coffee isn’t a new fad, and neither is how we handle our roasting. We refuse to get our beans from anyone other than local farmers and businesses from the sources of the coffee trade – Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. We believe there is one absolute principle that determines the superior quality of our beans over all the rest – you either trade with the source or you handle sloppy seconds. Though in this case those seconds aren’t just sloppy – they’re downright corrupt. Go ahead and get your fix from a major conglomerate short changing the indentured farmer. No, seriously – go ahead. We can’t stomach the blood brew ourselves so someone has to.  Meanwhile we will sip our freshly brewed beans enjoying that added ingredient of being more than just a “fair trader” or “ethical business” – we are the new world of trade.  A world built on respect, friendships, and accountability of our trade actions. So sip on that in the morning.

Our Backstory:

The edges of the maps were filled in long before we started roasting and packaging coffee.  The farmers who work the fields started growing coffee beans long before we even knew what a cup of Joe tasted like.  We aren’t going to reinvent coffee or discover a new type of coffee bean.  What we will do is take you on an exploration of taste, of humanity, and of the world you thought you knew.

The age of imperial exploration fooled the world into believing all the mystery and splendor on earth had been uncovered.  200 years after, the age of globalization micromanages cultures into abstract groups only relevant for a question on Jeopardy.  Humanity saw the forest of the world for the lumber value of its trees.  Yet for a very brief period in time did the world decide to learn about itself – move past the age of imperialism and move into discoveries of cultures and customs both ancient and foreign.  This age of human exploration was sadly lost to war and economic turmoil.  We brought it back.

The sailors and explorers of the industrial age, risking life and limb, traveled deep into the hearts of the non- “globalized” world to fill out their maps of old. Those old maps, made by even older cartographers, use to have written on them “here be dragons” or other whimsical phrases to denote areas of danger otherwise unfit for travel.  In today’s world the mass news and commercial media have become our map makers and call these areas “war-torn”, “impoverished”, “3rd world” and “undeveloped”.  Well here may be “undeveloped” countries, but here be where our beans are grown.  Past “here” are the rest of the people of the world whose cultures are more than a footnote in the encyclopedia.  Their beans, which we are honored to import and roast, tell a story of pride in their work, a work that is threatened by the old monsters of war and turmoil and the new monsters of ignorance and cultural domination.

Help us in discovering the world and the people therein with every cup you brew.



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